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Roberts gives keys to success at Chamber Banquet

By Staff, 04/26/19 10:25 AM

PRESCOTT – Those attending the 2019 Prescott Chamber Banquet Thursday night at the Prescott Junior High cafeteria, were given the three keys to success.

Steve Roberts, keynote speaker and associate assistant director of the Arkansas Activities Association, talked about what it takes to succeed in life. He started out saying he spent 11 years in Magnolia as coach at Southern Arkansas University. As the youngest coach in the nation, at the time he was named head coach of the Muleriders, Roberts said he had all the answers, but was humbled winning only nine games his first three seasons. He talked about being ready to give up, but didn’t and things turned around with the Muleriders being the first team in the state to win the Gulf South Conference title and go to the national playoffs.

The first key to success, he said, is attitude. “You need to understand how important attitude is in your life. It makes a difference.” Roberts used a football analogy of the odds of scoring depending on where an offense starts its drives. Teams getting the ball from goal to the 20 score an average of 18 percent of the time – unless they get the ball by turnover. Should the defense force a turnover in this area, the odds of scoring go up to 33 percent. The only difference, he said, is attitude. “You need to develop a turnover attitude and stack the odds in your favor.”

Next, he said, is perseverance. He defined perseverance as character taking over after the excitement’s gone. “Too many times people quit before they succeed.”

He talked about being offered the head coaching job at Arkansas State University, which, at the time, had a program in disarray. His first game as head coach was against No. 4 ranked Virginia Tech. The Indians, as the team was known then, gave up 56 points in the first half. He admonished the team to persevere and not give up. In the second half, Tech played its bench and the Indians battled to a 7-7 tie, though losing 63-7. He said the important thing was the team didn’t quit.

In his first year at ASU the team won six games, which was more than it had won the previous five years combined.

Third on the list is not to think about yourself, but to serve others. Living a life of service, he said, gives people a fulfilled life, something that can’t be matched by fame, fortune or power. He said people can reach the top of their profession and be unfulfilled. “Giving to others makes success a reality.”